The NFL week 16 kicks off with a Thursday night football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Houston Texans. This game looked better on paper before the season started, but after the loss of Peyton Manning, the Colts have been awful.

FREE PICKS: For updated free football picks in college and the NFL, check out Bookie Blitz for the latest in free sports betting selections.

The NFL week 16 odds opened up with the Texans listed as 6.5 point favorites over the Colts. As expected, 79% of the early betting money came in on the Texans. However, the line in this game actually dropped and is now at 5.5 in some of the reputable offshore sportsbooks. This is usually an indication of smart money coming in on the Colts. Perhaps the sharp bettors believe the Colts can win two in a row.

Quarterback Dan Orlovsky managed the game well for the Colts as they beat the Tennessee Titans for the first win of the season. The real superstar on offense was running back Donald Brown. Brown had an 82 yard scamper for a score and has taken over as the featured back for the Colts. This type of running game will open up passing alleys for Pierre Garcon and Reggie Wayne.

The Texans are trying to get to the post season in one piece and they will rest wide receiver Andre Johnson, who has still not recovered from a hamstring injury. Rookie signal-caller T.J. Yates has performed admirably and will look to run the ball using the dynamic duo of Arian Foster and Ben Tate.

The Colts have a decent defense that has some solid pieces that could hold up well against the run in this game. Although the Colts are in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes, they are more concerned with winning now.

The Texans are more about staying healthy for the post season. The Texans are 2-5 ATS in their last seven road games against a team with a losing home record and that shows they do not get excited for games like this.

The Colts are 15-5-2 ATS against a team with a winning record, 17-8-2 ATS in their last 27 games following a win and 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine Thursday games. The Colts fans will get a win on Thursday night as they take down a uninterested Texans team.

NFL week 16 Picks against the spread: Indianapolis Colts +5.5